“Tough questions lead to great conversation, and great conversation leads to progress” 

Season 2, Episode 4

HR Considerations for all people managers

Hello and welcome! This week, Erin and Hannah are joined by Stacey Redford, Head of Human Resources and Dan Wright, Head of Seeds, with Syngenta Canada to talk human resource (HR) considerations as they relate to an organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy. Stacey, who joined Syngenta in January 2022 and leads Syngenta’s renewed “people strategy”, answers a number of questions we have about HR’s role in supporting employees and as always, Dan candidly shares a few of his leadership strategies and gives us an update on Syngenta’s DEI journey. Dan and Stacey leave us with a number of great practical strategies you won’t want to miss.

Connect with Stacey Redford: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacey-redford-chrl-vppeople/

Connect with Dan Wright: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-wright-8a03a57/

Season 2, Episode 3

“Creating Inclusive Cultures; Expanding influence and disrupting bias with Claire Cowan”

So, you’ve been learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and you want to contribute to building an inclusive culture in your community or at work, but how do we make that desire actionable? How can each of us work within, and grow our “sphere of influence” to build an inclusive culture? 

This week, Erin and Hannah share a conversation where we discuss these important questions with Claire Cowan, entrepreneur and facilitator in the seed industry. We also discuss her workshop, Creating Inclusive Cultures, created specifically for the agriculture sector, that allows participants to build pragmatic and specific skills in these areas, and to practice those skills, like disrupting bias. Claire also shares some excellent tips on what to do if you’re on the receiving end of some tough feedback about your own actions. 

Connect with Claire Cowan: https://www.clairecowan.ca

Season 2, Episode 2

“Pass The Mic with The Do More Agriculture Foundation, Mental Health Week”

For Mental Health Week, we’re passing the mic to The Do More Agriculture Foundation for a candid conversation on mental health and inclusion. The Do More Agriculture Foundation (DMAF) is the national voice and champion for mental health in Canadian agriculture. 

Megz Reynolds and Himadry Singh of DMAF in conversation with Amy Vanderheide, farmer from Nova Scotia and Stuart Chutter, farmer from Saskatchewan, discuss and share their perspectives on important topics such as the power of language to build community and overcome mental health stigma, the importance of representation, understanding our own mental health to help others, and so much more!

For resources and more, connect with The Do More Agriculture Foundation: https://www.domore.ag/

Connect with Megz Reynolds: https://twitter.com/MegzReynolds

Connect with Himadry Singh: https://twitter.com/HimadrySingh

Connect with Stuart Chutter: https://www.facebook.com/stuart.chutter

Connect with Amy Vanderheide: https://twitter.com/AmyVanderheide

Season 2, Episode 1

“4 ways to lead more Inclusively with Dr. Melissa Horne from Dialectic”

Welcome back to Season 2 of the Diversity Imperative! Erin Gowriluk and Hannah Konschuh are back with a focus on practical leadership strategies we can all implement in our daily lives when it comes to building inclusive cultures. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Melissa Horne, Director of Client Experience at Dialectic, about 4 ways we can lead more inclusively and the core concepts that drive inclusive leadership.

Thanks to our sponsor, Syngenta, for their continued support. 

Connect with Melissa Horne and Just One Q: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-horne-phd-2b8b3a9a/

Season1, Episode 9

“Food for thought and tough decisions with Ryan Goodman aka Beef Runner”

Welcome to the last episode of the Summer Series where we sit down with agriculture advocate and cattle rancher, Ryan Goodman aka “Beef Runner” to talk about the personal experiences that he has posted on his blog “Food for Thought.” This candid conversation explores some of the difficult decisions that Ryan had to make when he realized that his personal values did not align with those of his employer. We also talk about his continued advocacy and leadership as he works to ensure that the sector he loves can reap the benefits that come from a more open and inclusive culture.

Resources mentioned in this episode: Ryan’s Blog, “Food for Thought” https://beefrunner.com/category/food-for-thought/

Season1, Episode 8

“Lost Harvests with Dr. Sarah Carter and guest host Dr. Melissa Arcand”

Welcome to the Summer Series, where we get to talk to the authors behind the articles and books that really made us think. In episode 8, we’re joined by Dr. Sarah Carter, Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of History and Classics, and Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. We discuss Sarah’s book Lost Harvests; Prairie Indian Reserve Farmers and Government Policy, where she provides an in-depth study of government policy, the response of First Nations people to those policies, and the socio-economic condition of the reserve communities on the prairies after treaties were signed. A must read/listen for all prairie people and agriculturalists alike.

We also welcomed back Dr. Melissa Arcand, Assistant Professor and Soil Biogeochemist from the University of Saskatchewan. What a treat to have her back for this conversation!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

(Book) Lost Harvests: Prairie Indian Reserve Farmers and Government Policy

Season1, Episode 7

“The Inclusion Imperative for Boards with Dr. Terri Cooper”

Welcome to the Summer Series, where we get to talk to the authors behind the articles and books that really made us think. In episode 7, we’re joined by Dr. Terri Cooper, Principal and Vice Chair of External Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Deloitte to discuss her article “The inclusion imperative for boards”. Dr. Cooper also walked us through the 6 traits of inclusive leadership that she’s worked to develop; some bonus content! The agriculture sector has so many boards of directors, responsible for many important decisions, so no surprise that this article was at the top of our summer reading list. 
We also welcomed back our podcast partner Dan Wright, Head of Seeds with Syngenta Canada to discuss some key moments for him from Season 1 of the Diversity Imperative podcast and he stuck around to join us for our conversation with Dr. Cooper too. Enjoy!

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Season1, Episode 6

Understanding from the Land with Dr. Melissa Arcand

In episode 6 we’re joined by Dr. Melissa Arcand, Assistant Professor and Soil Biogeochemist, from the University of Saskatchewan. Melissa is also the academic advisor for students in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy program, which trains students to work in resource management and land governance in Indigenous communities across Canada. We discuss how Melissa’s work as a natural scientist intersects with that of Indigenous knowledge systems, and we get the history lesson you wished you would have had years ago when it comes to Indigenous agriculture on the prairies and the oppressive policies put in place by the government of the day. Melissa also shares the work she leads that empowers First Nations land managers.

Update! The Diversity Imperative podcast has officially gone seeding for #plant21! We’ll be back for our summer series in a few weeks’ time. Until then, check us out on social media and @ the diversityimperative.com to see some of the great resources from season 1.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Nisitohtamowin askihk ohci: Understanding from the land – Dr. Melissa Arcand

Season1, Episode 5

“Creating community through Pride in Ag”

In episode 5, Erin and Hannah are joined by Julia Romagnoli, Production Ag Specialist with John Deere from Guelph Ontario, and creator and curator of the Pride in Ag Instagram account. We discuss how Julia is using this platform to create community and connect people that identify as LGBTQ+ in agriculture, plus so much more! Julia leaves us with a few small but powerful and meaningful ways we can all make positive change for LGBTQ+ inclusion in agriculture.



Season1, Episode 4

“Accountability for organizations”

We’re talking accountability for agricultural organizations on episode 4, featuring guests Joe Dickenson, beef producer and director with Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), and Chantelle Donahue, grain farmer from Saskatchewan and Vice President & Commercial Leader for Global Edible Oil Solutions-North America, for Cargill. We discuss the ways BFO and Cargill, two very different organizations, are working to hold themselves accountable when it comes to building diversity, equity, and inclusion into their organizations. Erin and Hannah also discuss some learning they did on transactional and transformational leadership. 
Beef Farmers of Ontario’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Brené with Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: The Heart of Hard Conversations
Brené with Aiko Bethea on Creating Transformative Cultures
Season1, Episode 3

“For #IWD2021, a conversation with the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau”

To celebrate #IWD2021, Erin and Hannah are joined by Canadian Agriculture’s leading women, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. They discuss her path to politics and the agriculture sector, and what it was like to be the first female Minister of Agriculture in Canada. 
Minister Bibeau also discusses the governments 50-30 challenge, an initiative to accelerate diversity actions in Canadian organizations and why our sector should #choosetochallenge.
Hannah and Erin discuss why targets should be considered when it comes to lifting your diversity and inclusion goals off the page.
Resources mentioned in this episode: 
The 50 – 30 Challenge: Your Diversity Advantage
Power Gap – Corporate Canada is still a boys club:
Season1, Episode 2

“Elevating Voices: How to be an Ally”

We cover a lot of ground with Christine Simpson, hockey reporter for Sportsnet, to unearth what the agriculture sector can learn from sport when it comes to diversity and inclusion. We discuss what hockey is doing to eradicate racism and to ensure “hockey is for everyone”, as well as how to be an effective ally and the need for organizations to “evolve or die.”

Season1, Episode 1

“It’s a JOURNEY”

On episode 1 of The Diversity Imperative, hosts Erin Gowriluk and Hannah Konschuh talk to Dan Wright, Head of Seeds for Syngenta Canada about his shift in moving towards the important conversation of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They discuss how to get over your fear of talking about diversity, as well as Syngenta’s strategy to create an equitable company culture.

Resources mentioned in this episode:


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